Black Headed Caique

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
fast facts

About Black Headed Caique

25-40 years
Bird Species
Green, Yellow, White, Black
Whistler, Vocal, Noisy, Mimics sounds
Social, Inquisitive, Playful
Comparable Breeds
White bellied caique
Black Headed Caique General Info

The Black Headed Caique belongs to a species of parrots that is famous for their lovely colors as well as fun and quirky behavior. Known as very intelligent and inquisitive, these little birds are a handful of fun, so if you’re looking for a companion pet that will be sure to make you laugh and make your day fun – a caique parrot might be the right choice. Since Black Headed Caiques are loved as pet birds all over the world, acquiring one shouldn’t be too hard.

Black Headed Caiques are the definition of parrots – colorful, smart and inquisitive. These feathered explorers are a ton of fun!

Native Region/Natural Habitat

With a natural preference for humid, tropical rainforest in the Amazon region of northern South America, their native habitat includes a vast area that spans countries like Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and others. There, they inhabit the treetops of Amazonian forests, with 10 to 30 birds in one noisy, colorful flock. Their favorite food in the wild is comprised of insects, flowers, and seeds.

Overall Description

Black Headed Caiques are medium-sized parrots, but smaller than most birds in this family. Adults can grow up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) in length, with a stubby, robust look due to their short tail feathers. Males are identical to females, which is why positive identification can be a difficult task.

The ruffled, puffy looking, white chest and belly feathers are a unique trait of these caiques, giving them a good dose of fluffiness and a slightly comical appearance.

Speech and Sounds

Your pet caique will surprise you with its inquisitive nature and a talent for mimicking sounds. Most of all, they love to show off what they learn. Alarms, sirens, beeps and animal sounds are the most common, and occasionally only a few words can be heard. They will often combine these sounds, creating new ones or making different sound patterns.

Since Black Headed Caiques can be a bit noisy at times, consider covering their cage with a light cloth at night, nudging them to sleep and be silent.


Distinguishing patterns and color markings are a telltale sign of Black Headed Caiques. Firstly, they owe their names to the dark black crown, or the top of their head, while its lower part is yellow. Their back and wings are green, and their thighs are yellow. The puffy chests and bellies are pure white. This unique combination of vivid colors is certainly a lovely sight, bringing a breath of their tropical homeland right into your home.

The whirlwind of bright colors contrasted by a unique black crown makes Black Headed Caiques truly stand out.

Care and Feeding

Their fairly simple diet in the wild is easy to achieve in captivity. Most commercial, store-bought seed mixes will cover all the bases for your Black Headed Caique. With added green vegetables and selected fruits like apples and oranges, they will get all the essential nutrients and vitamins that ensure your bird stays healthy.

Caiques love to move about. They will require a large, spacious cage with a lot of swings and perches, since they like to hop all over the place. Some toys are good too, as these birds have a habit of nipping and biting at everything- you included!

Health and Common Conditions

They have a long lifespan that can reach up from 25 to 40 years, and this makes them a good choice for a long-term, companion pet. The Black Headed Caique has a hardy and vigorous nature and need only basic care to be a perfectly healthy pet. Avoid drafty, dark and cold places, and make good hygiene a priority. They like to bathe and will make a mess of their drinking water if not provided with a bathing dish. Since their tendency to bite and be grumpy when bored, avoid placing them together with birds of different species. Violence can ensue.

These birds are quite energetic and will require a lot of space and toys to satisfy their inquisitive needs.

Personality & Behavior

Fun is the best adjective to describe caiques. Their questioning, exploring minds will lead them to every nook and corner if they’re allowed to roam freely. They’ll enjoy playing, socializing and petting and scratches – but overstep your boundaries, and you’ll earn yourself a nibble or two! If denied toys, food or places they want to explore, they’ll get grumpy and make a scene to firmly point out their dissatisfaction.

Photo credit: Rosa Jay/Shutterstock; Glass and Nature/Shutterstock

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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